[Wikimedia-l] making tech journalism easier to read

Kim Osman kim.osman at qut.edu.au
Wed May 22 00:41:45 UTC 2013

Hi Sumana,

I've found the advice from the Plain English Campaign pretty good - they
have Drivel Defence (although I've not used it, so can't comment on it


Cheers, Kim Osman

On 21/05/13 1:45 PM, "Sumana Harihareswara" <sumanah at wikimedia.org> wrote:

>When you're trying to write a blog.wikimedia.org entry or
>wikitech-ambassadors email about a technical topic, but you want to make
>sure nontechnical Wikimedians can read it, is there an automated check
>you can run through?
>For general readability we have http://www.readability-score.com/ to
>check, for example, the Flesch-Kincaid reading ease.  My blog entry
>has a grade level of 11.5, meaning that it would be difficult for
>someone to read it unless they had about as much English fluency as an
>average US student in their last year of pre-college schooling.  In the
>future I will probably aim more for a grade level of 10 or so; we have a
>lot of non-native English speakers in our community.  I think it's too
>difficult to rewrite everything in Up-Goer 5 http://splasho.com/upgoer5/
>or Simple English Wikipedia style, even for regular-person-friendly blog
>entries about WMF Engineering,[0] but I am willing to be told if I am
>Aside from general readability, I also want to be careful about using
>jargon, and substitute more accessible terminology where possible. I may
>whip up a script to check whether some text has words from
>https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Glossary and the other site glossaries
>in it, unless someone has a better idea.
>Sumana Harihareswara
>Engineering Community Manager
>Wikimedia Foundation
>[0] I just tried rewriting a couple sentences from my blog post in
>Up-Goer 5 style. "Now, we are looking forward to making more places to
>give people their words and pictures, more quickly. The team is planning
>to make another place like that."
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>Wikimedia-l at lists.wikimedia.org
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